Green New Deal + Vox article = hhmmm


Yeah - could also say “end in humor”
Still like the “wish list could be(come) my bribe list”.
An interesting negotiating tactic.


Tariffs will surely have an impact on installation since domestic production has been dwindling steadily. As is usual with tariffs, they will likely just prop up the profits of protected industry as opposed to fostering leaner domestic producers ready to face competition.

Panel prices were >$4 per rated watt 10 years ago; they were <$1 a watt last time I checked circa 2017. Panels no longer dominate the cost of a PV solar installation project with inverters and balance-of-system components constituting the majority of the cost. A 10-15% price supplier increase will move the needle at the margins but I don’t expect it to change much since the baseline is so low.

And it’s pretty much what I mentioned - metals are worth something at EOL but the carbon fiber blades likely aren’t. Expect all possible outcomes as sites reach end of life, particularly with remote conditions and highly variable land ownership/usage agreements. Everyone is making predictions favorable to their positions without a lot of data to go by since we’ve apparently yet to see mass retirement of megawatt-plus class turbines in the US.

I expect that we’ll see some reduction in credits and regulatory favoritism for these sites change the calculus over the years. A variety of storage technologies are becoming viable to help buffer the mismatches between production, transmission limits, and demand. Besides the obvious lithium-ion battery bank that excites the tech press, more mundane forms of storage are possible such as compressing air, pumping water, or even moving weights up and down hills.

Like transportation and agriculture, the entire energy sector is subject to government distortions that mask the true cost from the market. Oil and gas get favorable tax treatment in spite of being phenomenally profitable. Coal extraction operations never have to clean up “active sites” and the subterranean operations never truly cover the costs of Black Lung. Hydro is almost always a government project from the get-go often with abusive eminent domain powers. Nuclear gets favorable government guaranteed loans and soaks ratepayers with special charges into perpetuity. Solar gets tax credits on installation. Wind oftentimes gets first-choice in the wholesale market.

Ah but how about today?

Rare earths have been the story of electronics since before the transistor. Li-ion batteries might be the largest market for lithium but they’re not the majority. Nickel usage in the first wave of concern trolling about hybrids is a rounding error relative to it use in conventional metal production.

I’d be more worried about the rare earths diffused into in smartphones with ~4 year lifespans than in the more dense power electronics of the more durable goods we’re discussing.

Mining is pretty nasty business with costs that subsequent generations pay - I gather there are shaft mines from the Roman era that are causing real problems for those downstream today. But we encourage it nonetheless so we can throw away that aluminum soda can that could be recycled at ~5% of the energy cost of just refining the bauxite for a new can to say nothing of the extraction and transport cost.


Interestingly I’m on a job where they are installing solar panels. Mission Solar in particular. Yeah I know buy 26 to get that price.


The projected life expectancy was no doubt longer than three years when this green dream was installed.


US/China trade war. China’s supposed to be the no.1 supplier of rare earth metals for permanent magnets. Unless the trade war goes away, or the US finds an alternate cheap supplier. How green’s the new deal?

Found you these. If you buy 48, it becomes <$112.

And, it’s all legal. Don’t forget, no one(media outlet) has reported any member of congress or senate refuting the statement yet.

Everyone starts out that way. Did you watch The Swamp?

I don’t believe everything on her platform is what she really believes(like every other politician). Many of them are popular issues which like any “good” political candidate will do, are there as a platform to get them elected. Promise to solve the popular issue problem/s to get yourself elected, and say “we tried, but there wasn’t enough time. give me another term.” when they don’t deliver to get themselves elected.

Not singling her out or anything. Just sparked by curiosity about the New Green Deal and recalling the Vox video I came across the day before and one of the ironic conclusion it led to.

"Its utilization rate over the year through June 2018 was 3.7 percent, well below the 30 percent necessary for commercialization.

The two other turbines, of different sizes, have utilization rates of 32.9 percent and 18.5 percent, respectively."

Ugh, it sucks.
I wonder what was the reasons for the failures, and if it’s a build quality issue vs a location of use issue.


all this talk sparked curiosity for me, so…
I’ll bet some will be keeping an eye on this space:

Here’s a couple of interesting tidbits I have garnered along the way:

  • self-reported “annual salary” prior to election (as bartender): ~$26,000
  • self-reported “assets” prior to election: savings/checking “liquid assets” of > $1000, <$50,000
  • self-reported “debts” prior to election: $50,000 in “student loans”

So, to sum up:
no assets except cash, which does not exceed debts
reported earning potential “sextoupled” from ~$26,000 to $174,000 (~6.69x, actually, but I don’t know if there is verbiage for that) upon election.
Yet, unable to afford an apartment in DC (according to some reports) and, I have to confess, I’m wondering where/how was affording one in Bronx on $26k…
We’ll see how this changes over the next {n units of time}.

PS: Today, I learned politicians can pay themselves a salary from their campaign. I never knew that…


Good information.
Perhaps everyone should look at all the newly elected in this light.


Short term the price mostly just goes up since they surely want to keep selling and demand probably isn’t supply-constrained. Longer-term higher prices just mean that less-economical sources than China / DRC / etc come online, like shale oil is to crude oil whenever OPEC and their buddies start to get greedy. Unlike oil, the quantities involved are quite small by comparison so short-term supply disruptions aren’t necessarily catastrophic.

Between the fantasy extremes of running the entire world on coal or the laughter of children is a wide swath we call the real world. I discredit those shrieking about either extreme as if they’re representative of reality because they’re not.


We should.
Here’s the story as I understand it: Get elected to office in Washington D.C > Deposit $$$$$$$
Here’s one of the higher profile, partially because he went from nobody to highest office so quickly as to make it obvious:

Quick summary:

  • 2004: net worth < $400,000 (reported 4 accounts with between $50,000 and $100,000)

  • 2004: salary: ~$96,000/year

  • 2016: est. net worth >$12,000,000

  • 2016: salary $??

not to mention the spouse:

  • 2004: net worth $unknown, but I personally bet that it’s the $400,000"ish" reported above for Barack
  • 2016: est. net worth: >$11,800,000 (this time, SEPARATE from Barack).

That’s an estimated $23,800,000 for the pair. That ignores whatever’s been socked away in the offsprings’ names, whatever’s being held in trusts and “charities”…

Go to DC, get big bucks…
EDIT: Some sources:


Especially today.
China currently has/controls most of the world’s rare earth supply/market. Has for some long time.
South Africa is another source. Think funding for your favorite local warlord.
Neither has a problem w/ child/slave labor.
The US has little/none in rare earth resources. Molycorp tried to reopen a mine but went bankrupt in the process. A potential new source was found south of Japan. Hopefully it can be developed. The impact on global markets and politics could be very interesting.

Afghanistan is another potential source, but probably won’t be developed any time soon due to war, tribal conflicts and so on.
Given the important strategic value - both military and commercial - it makes for interesting trade talks.
Interesting observation: Most, if not all, of the rare earths required for “green” projects in the US come from unfriendly sources. Things to consider next time you pull out your mobile gadget.


You don’t think China has a slave labor problem?

Pull up your favorite search engine and type in the words China slave labor.

Oh, me bad. China does not have a slave labor problem because they are OK with it…


Plus many new high powered electric motors use them, Such as those that may be used in electric vehicles.

My interpretation is @artg_dms meant they do have no qualms re employing such. Not they do not have such issues.
P.S. Worrying about slave or non first world working conditions labor is a luxury reserved for first world nations.
For many of those employed, it means another day of survival.
Could things be better? Definitely. But it could also be a whole, whole lot worst without.
Goes back to politicians, and to an extent, community, and religious leaders.

Reading the links, I wonder how accurate the numbers quoted for her income are in articles similar to this.
The publication could be comparing post tax, pre-congressional seat income to post election salary, for all we know. Two not totally comparable things. Which, everyone should have noticed by now that modern media is more than willing to do, to make the stories more dramatic.


Crude oil also has a tendency to come from places with spotty track records but we don’t seem to single those places out for particular concern.

But you make a point broadly glossed over - disposable consumer electronics with their increasingly tight demands for compact size, high performance, and exceptional power efficiency - do drive demand for rare earths and other resources to a degree we rarely acknowledge. I’m more concerned about our unending appetite for newer betterer, slimmer, sekzier iProducts that last perhaps 4 years than I am far more durable power electronics, motors, solar panels and the like that last decades and are immensely easier to reprocess at end of life.


For that, we DO have a solution: Drill, baby, drill! Frack, baby, frack!


… but only when the price of crude is >$50/BBL (or whatever the magic price is) and stays there long enough to cover the startup and operating costs for fracking and tar sands, which are inherently more expensive than pumping conventional crude.



Gotta wonder what the people who named it as such were thinking when they named it such.


Fracking is short for hydraulic fracturing, at least that is what they tell us…


Hence market equilibrium. The reign of OPEC as we knew it is over. Especially if Venezuela ever gets its crap back together.


The next Space Race?


And, of course, China is on the dark side already building their moon base, away from public eye…